Celtic target lift at Inverness after week of mixed fortunes

Celtic's Kolo Toure kneels on the pitch at the end of a Champions League, Group C soccer match between Barcelona and Celtic, at the Camp Nou stadium 
Ronnie Esplin

INVERNESS offers a more sedate setting to Celtic following a hectic week for the Parkhead club but Brendan Rodgers' attitude will not differ.

The Northern Irishman celeberated his first Old Firm game as Hoops boss last Saturday with a thumping 5-1 win over Rangers at a packed and frenzied Parkhead.

Celtic's opening Champions League Group C clash with Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Tuesday night in front of 73,290 fans ended very differently, however, with the Glasgow club departing Catalonia on the wrong end of a 7-0 defeat, the biggest European loss in the club's history.

Rodgers' men return to Ladbrokes Premiership duty on Sunday with a trip north to the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium, but the former Liverpool boss will "handle it the same way" as he looks to make it five league wins out of five against a team who have drawn against Aberdeen and beaten St Johnstone in their last two matches, after starting the campaign with three league defeats.

"We are very committed and very focused to winning games," Rodgers said. "We are going for a fifth straight win in the league which is very important for us.

"We wanted to make a good start and the opening 10 games will be a reflection on that.

"We respect that Inverness had a difficult start but in the last couple of games against St Johnstone and Aberdeen they have showed much better.

"So I am sure it will be a tough game for us, like all the trips there before.

"No team will lie down and make it easy for you. It is up to us to play with our dominance and be as aggressive as we have been."

Despite the rigours of the past two matches, Rodgers will make any changes with caution.

He said: "I don't like to make too many but I have to respect the level and intensity of the game which is very challenging for us and we have a squad for a purpose.

"The core of the team will mostly stay the same and I will look at one or two (changes) to ensure we retain the intensity of the team."

Striker Leigh Griffiths will again miss out with a calf injury although he could be back for next weekend.


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